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The Word of Avis, Pt. 1 is the third issue Season 1.5 of The Orville, and the first part of a two-part story known as The Word of Avis. The USS Orville intercepts a small ship of xenoanthropologists on their way to Krill space.

The episode was written by executive producer David A. Goodman and staffed by artist David Cabeza and colorist Michael Atiyeh.


Chief Engineer John LaMarr and Helmsman Gordon Malloy participate in a battle simulation of Saladin attacking the Knights Templar. After, on the Bridge of the USS Orville, Gordon recounts the battle to Captain Ed Mercer. Isaac detects a small Planetary Union Transporter-class vessel headed towards Krill space.

The transport does not respond to Ed's warnings, so Second Officer Bortus seizes the ship by tractor beam. However, the transport does not power down its engines, which risks blowing itself up. John and Lieutenant Dann link to the ship's Engineering panel to shut down the engines remotely. With only seconds before the engines overload, Dann detects "some weird feedback." In the interest of time, they ignore it and shut down the transport. The Orville reels the ship into its Shuttle Bay.

Chief of Security Alara Kitan leads a security dispatch to open the transport doors. Inside are three Union civilians: Doctor Darden, Karx, and Franz. In the Captain's Office, Darden explains that they are xenoanthropologists on their way to Mizar 2. Their ship in bad disrepair, they were neither able to correctly chart a path to Mizar 2 nor communicate with the Orville. They refused to turn off the engines because they were afraid the Orville was a pirate ship. Ed verifies Darden's story with the Union.

John, Dann, and Lieutenant Yaphit enter the transport for repairs, but stumble upon Celeste inside. Celeste and John graduated from Union Point years back. Meanwhile, Darden, Karx, and Franz join Gordon in the Mess Hall and eagerly prod him for information about his secret mission aboard the Yakar. They reveal themselves to be the same scholars tasked with examining a copy of the Anhkana, the Krill holy book, retrieved by Gordon and Ed.

Ed is concerned the same xenoanthropologists who studied the Anhkana were now caught near Krill space. John does not believe that Celeste, a very competent student of engineering, would let the transport systems fail. Doctor Claire Finn reports that the four guests are, biologically, who they say they are.

John invites Celeste for a drink but she says she needs to go to a meeting on the transport for safety protocols on Mizar 2. When she leaves, John goes to the Shuttle Bay Observation Deck and finds Alara monitoring them. "Now they're all in there," she says. "Doing what, I don't know." John replies that he has access to their internal cameras, and the two tune in. John and Alara show Ed and First Officer Kelly Grayson what they discovered: the four guests holding a Krill religious ceremony in their ship's cargo hold.

Ed, Kelly, and Alara confront the xenoanthropologists, and they confess they converted to the Krill religion after studying the Anhkana. However, the recovered copy was incomplete. The captured Krill school teacher Teleya helped restore missing sections of the text and eventually led their religious services. The four of them seek to join the Krill.

Ed states that the four might have the freedom to convert, but he has the power to enforce Union borders and not allow them to enter Krill space. "You may not have a choice in that matter, Captain," Darden says. Gordon summons the officers to the Bridge. A program has made minute adjustments to the Computer's navigational system. Celeste used feedback to sneak the program into the Orville. Now the Orville is 35 light years into Krill territory.


The Word of Avis, Pt. 1 was written by David A. Goodman, an executive producer and writer for the show, who stated that he wanted this issue and The Word of Avis, Pt. 2 to build off of the story of Krill (another episode he wrote).[1]

The issue was drawn by artist David Cabeza. After publication, he recalled, "The first panels [of the battle between Saladin and the Knights Templar in the Environmental Simulator] were a nightmare to draw (excepting [sic] drawing horses, which I love). But I'm quite happy with the result."[2]

20th Century Fox and Dark Horse Comics released two different press release synopses:

  • The USS Orville intercepts "a small Union ship en route to the interstellar territory of the easily aggravated Krill. The passengers, originally thought to be a group of xenoanthropologists, turn out to be much, much more interesting and dangerous than the crew of the Orville could’ve imagined."[3]
  • "When the Orville detects a Union transport headed straight for Krill territory, they hail them and receive no response. Forced to intercept, the Orville is soon playing host to a group of seemingly hapless xenoanthropologists—including an old acquaintance of John’s. But not everything is as it seems."[4]


Responses to The Word of Avis, Pt. 1 was overall positive, and the issue garnered higher scores over New Beginnings, Pt. 1 and Pt. 2. Carl Bryan of DC Comics News gave the issue four stars, calling it "a high brow treasure."[5] Beyond the Panel rated it 8.5 out of 10, propounding, "This is the kind of storytelling that I believe many of our comics out there are missing."[6]


  • There is a real star named Mizar, which appears from Earth as the middle star in the handle of the asterism The Big Dipper, part of the constellation Ursa Major. It is 83 light years from our solar system.
  • An easter egg left by artist David Cabeza[7] is found in the Krillain on Karx's screen: "SETH MACFARLANE DAVID GOODMAN DAVID CABEZA MICHAEL ATIYEH."
  • Darden holds a computer screen with a copy of a page of the Anhkana. On it is a silhouette of the Krill deity Avis.
  • A book on Karx's desk shows a ceremonial knife. (One such knife was used to mash the head of a captured Chara 3 colonist in Krill.)
  • A system of internal cameras are apparently commonplace aboard Union vessels, as used aboard the Union transport.
  • This issue gives special thanks to creator Seth MacFarlane, science adviser André Bormanis, executive producers Brannon Braga and Jason Clark, writer Gerry Duggan of Marvel Comics, digital effects supervisor Brandon Fayette, assistant to executive producer Julia Nichols Hodges, assistant to David Goodman Rahne Keith, Mayumi Yokomizo, Joy Fehily (who manages MacFarlane and Fuzzy Door Productions), publicist Cassy Brewer (who works with Fehily), Sheri Conn of The Consultancy Project, and executive director Carol Roeder of 20th Century Fox.
  • Goodman has stated that characters were based around actual movie stars, but has not identified who in order to avoid litigation.[8]


  • This issue takes place in July 2420.



  • John asks Celeste if he can buy her a drink. It is firmly established earlier in New Dimensions that the Union has not used money to purchase goods in a very long time, and in Majority Rule the crew seems unfamiliar with what money does or what it even looks like.
  • Three unidentified officers wear blue uniforms of the Command Level aboard the Orville. Such uniforms are worn only by second and first officers and captains.
  • The tractor beam is operated from Bortus' Second Officer's bridge console. In season 1, the beam had been controlled by the navigator's console.
  • This entire episode hinges on John coming up with the idea that he can link to the transport's computer to shut down the engines, which allows Celeste to plant a virus in the Orville's navigational array. If John had not thought of the idea in time, Darden and Celeste's plan would have failed and their ship blown up.
  • Chief of Security Alara Kitan pretends to hear a scream as a pretext to watch the xenoanthropologists with the transport's cameras. In Pria, Ed is furious with Alara and Kelly for fabricating a reason to search Pria Lavesque's quarters, he severely chastises both and files a letter of reprimand in Kelly's permanent record. Here, Ed acknowledges that watching the cameras is a violation of Union Regulations but goes ahead anyway.
  • Ed says he was not able to copy the entire Anhkana, forcing the xenoanthropologists to turn to Teleya to "fill[] in the blank spaces." While that is true, there should not be anything missing: There was an undamaged, intact, and original text of the Anhkana in the chapel of the Yakar, which Ed and Gordon captured and returned to the Union.


Main Cast[]

Special Guest Cast[]

Recurring Cast[]